James Hough.

The history of Christianity in India : from the commencement of the Christian era : second portion: comprising the history of protestant missions, 1706-1816 / by James Hough (Volume 5) online

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any arrangement, I was ordered to depart by those
iron-hearted jailors, who could not endure to see
us enjoy the poor consolation of meeting in that


CHAP, miserable place. In vain I pleaded the order from

the governor for my admittance. They again harshly

repeated^ ^ Depart^ or we will put you out.' The
same evening the missionaries^ together with the
other foreigners^ who paid an equal sum, were taken
out of the common prison, and confined in an open
shed in the prison enclosure. Here I was allowed
to send them food and mats to sleep on, but was
not permitted to enter again for several days.

^^ The next morning the royal treasurer, attended
by forty or fifty followers, went to Mr Judson's
house, to take possession of all he had. I begged
that they would not take our wearing apparel, as
it would be disgraceful to take clothes partly worn
into the possession of his majesty, and to us they
were of unspeakable value. They assented, and
took a list only, and did the same with the books^
medicines, &c. My little work-table and rocking-
chair, presents from my beloved brother, T rescued
from their grasp, partly by artifice, and partly
through their ignorance. They left also many
articles which were of inestimable value during our
long imprisonment.

'' The officers who had taken the property pre-
sented it to the king, saying, ^Judson is a true
teacher ; we found nothing in his house but what
belongs to priests. In addition to this money, there
is an immense number of books, medicines, trunks
of wearing aj)parel, &c., of which we have only
taken a list. Shall we take them, or let them
remain ? ' ^ Let them remain,' said the king, ^ and
put this property by itself, for it shall be restored
to him again if he is found innocent.' This was an
allusion to the idea of his being a spy.

"^ During seven months the continual extortions
and oppressions to which your brother and the
other white prisoners were subject are indescribable.
Sometimes sums of money were demanded, some-


times pieces of cloth and handkerchiefs ; at other
times an order would be issued that the white
foreigners should not speak to each other^ or have
any communication with their friends without.
Then, again, the servants were forbidden to carry
in their food without an extra fee. Sometimes, for
days and days together, I could not go into the
prison till after dark, when I had two miles to walk
on returning to the house. Oh how many, many
times have I returned from that dreary prison at
nine o'clock at night, solitary and worn out with
fatigue and anxiety, and endeavoured to invent
some new scheme for the relief of the prisoners !
Sometimes, for a moment or two, my thoughts
would glance towards America, and my beloved
friends there ; but for nearly a year and a half, so
entirely engrossed was every thought with present
scenes and sufferings, that I seldom reflected on a
single occurrence of my life, or recollected that I
had a friend in existence out of Ava.

^^ You, my dear brother, who know my strong
attachment to my friends, and how much pleasure
I have hitherto experienced from retrospect, can
judge from the above circumstances how intense
were my sufferings. But the point, the acme of
my distress, consisted in the awful uncertainty of
our final state. My prevailing opinion was that
my husband would suffer a violent death ; and that
I should, of course, become a slave, and languish
out a miserable, though short existence, in the
tyrannic hands of some unfeeling monster. But
the consolations of religion in these trying circum-
stances were neither ^few nor small.' It taught
me to look beyond this world, to that rest, that
peaceful, happy rest, where Jesus reigns, and op-
pression never enters."

On one occasion Mrs Judson heard that all the
white prisoners were carried away. She remarks :



CHAP. '^ I would not believe the report, and instantly
^' went back to the governor, who said he had just
heard it, but did not wish to tell me. I hastily
ran into the street, hoping to get a glimpse of
them before they were out of sight, but in this I
was disappointed. I ran first into one street, then
into another, inquiring of all I met, but no one
would answer me. At length an old woman told
me that the white prisoners had gone towards the
little river ; for they were to be carried to Amara-
pora. I then ran to the banks of the little river,
about half a mile, but saw them not, and concluded
the old woman had deceived me. Some of the
friends of the foreigners went to the place of exe-
cution, but found them not. I then returned to
the governor, to try to discover the cause of their
removal, and the probability of their future fate.
The old man assured me that he was ignorant of
the intention of government to remove the foreign-
ers till that morning ; that since I went out he
had learnt that the prisoners were to be sent to
Amarapora ; but for what purpose he knew not.
^ I will send off a man immediately,' said he, ^ to
see what is to be done with them ! You can do
nothing more for your husband,' continued he ;
' take care of yourself.' This was a day never
to be forgotten. With a heavy heart, I retired to
my little bamboo house, and endeavoured to obtain
comfort from the only true source ; but my mind
was in such a distracted state, that I could not
steadily reflect on any thing. This one thought
occupied my mind to the exclusion of every other
— that I had seen Mr Judson for the last time,
and that he was now probably in a state of extreme
agony. For several days previous, I had been
actively engaged in building my own little room,
and making our hovel comfortable. My thoughts
had been almost entirely occupied in contriving


means to get into prison. But now I looked towards
the gate with a kind of melancholy feeling, but no
wish to enter. All was the stillness of death — no
preparation of your brother's food, no expectation
of meeting him at the usual dinner hour ; all my
employments, all my occupations seemed to have
ceased ; and I had nothing left but the dreadful
recollection that Mr Judson was carried off, I knew
not whither. It was one of the most insupportable
days I ever passed. Towards night, however, I
came to the determination to set off the next morn-
ing for Amarapora."

With her httle child, then only three months old,
two of the Burman children, and the Bengalee
cook, who was the only one of the party that could
afford any assistance, this devoted woman accom-
plished her purpose. On her arrival, she had to
proceed four miles further, and was at length con-
ducted to the prison-yard. '' But what a scene of
wretchedness," she says, '' Avas presented to my
view ! I found Mr Judson in a most wretched
state. He had been dragged out of his httle room
the day before ; his shoes, hat, and clothes, except-
ing his shirt and pantaloons, had been taken from
him, and in his feeble state of health, and in the
hottest part of the day, had been hterally driven
ten miles with a rope tied round his waist. His
feet were torn in such a manner, that for six weeks
he was unable to stand. He was nearly exhausted
with pain and fatigue, when a servant of Mr Gan-
ger's who had followed his master, took from his
head his turban, and gave part of it to Mr Judson,
who hastily wrapped it about his feet, which en-
abled him to proceed without sinking. He and Dr
Price were now chained together ; and, with the
other prisoners, put inside of a small wood prison
almost gone to decay. It was without a roof ; the
fence was entirely destroyed ; eight or ten Bur-


CHAP, mans were at the top of the building, trying to
^' make something Uke a shelter with leaves ; while
under a little low projection, outside of the prison,
sat the foreigners, chained together two and two,
almost dead with suffering and fatigue.'' The first
words of Mr Judson on beholding her were, ^^ Why
have you come ? I hoped you would not follow,
for you cannot live here." True, but how could
she live at Ava, imagining by day and dreaming
by night of her husband in torturing endurance ?
To proceed with her sad narrative. ^^ It was now
dark ; I had no refreshments for the suffering pri-
soners or myself, as I had expected to procure all
that was necessary at the market of Amarapora ;
and I had no shelter for the night. I asked one
of the jailors if I might put up a little bamboo
house hear the prison ; he said, ^ No ; it was not
not customary.' I then begged he would procure
me a shelter for the night, when on the morrow I
could find some place to live in. He took me to
his house, in which there were only two small
rooms, one in which he and his family lived ; the
other, which was then half full of grain, he offered
to me ; and in that little filthy place I spent the
next six months of wretchedness. I procured
some half-boiled water, instead of my tea, and,
worn out with fatigue, laid myself down on a mat
spread over the paddy, and endeavoured to obtain
a little refreshment from sleep."

It is needless to dwell on the heart-rending trials
that succeeded, until the triumph of the British
troops issued in their deliverance. For nearly two
years, the cloud which concealed their state was
dark and portentous. That suspense, which is
often as dreadful as the most afilicting certainty,
agitated the minds of their relatives, and of all the
friends of missions, with alternate hopes and fears.
Many hearts were engaged in continual and impor-


tiinate prayer to the Lord, that he would hear the
sighing of the prisoners, and protect his servants
from the rage of the heathen, and from the perils
of war.

At length, this painful suspense was terminated,
by the joyful news that the missionaries were alive,
and were safe in the English camp. The British
troops, after an almost uninterrupted series of suc-
cessful combats, had penetrated to Yandaboo, about
forty miles from the capital. The Burmese govern-
ment had hitherto haughtily refused to comply
with the terms proposed by the British commander.
But the near approach of the English troops, and
the prospect of the speedy capture of the golden
city, so operated on the fears of the monarch, that
he yielded, and signed a treaty of peace, in which
he ceded a large portion of his territory, and agreed
to pay a crore of rupees (about one million sterling^,
in four instalments.

The king of Ava had employed the missionaries
to negotiate this peace, but they were indebted to
the British general for their immediate deliverance,
under circumstances which Mrs Judson thus de-
scribed : —

^' Mr Judson communicated our real situation to
the general, who, with all the feelings of a British
officer, now demanded us in a way that his majesty
dared not refuse ; and, on the 21st of February,
after an imprisonment of nearly two years, we
took our leave of the '' golden city," and all its
magnificence, and turned our faces toward the Bri-
tish camp, then within forty miles of Ava.

^' No one can conceive our joy, when we had
safely passed the Burman camp ; for then we felt,^
indeed, that we were once more free, and out of
the power of those whose tender mercies are cruel.
The British general received us with all that kind-


CHAP, ness and hospitality for which your ^ countrymen
^' are so far-famed, provided us with every comfort
during a fortnight's residence at the camp, and
kindly sent us on to Kangoon in this gunboat. We
deeply feel the kindness of Sir Archibald Campbell,
for, under the directions of Providence, he has
been the means of delivering us from the iron grasp
of the Burmans. May God reward him a hundred-
fold, and prepare him for the future enjoyment of
Their de- 31. On their return to Kangoon, in March 1826,
liverance, |]^gy united witli the brethren and sisters whom

and return ,*^« t, . -, . I'i'i^ j?

to Ran- they found there, m rendermg their tribute oi
^^^"' praise to the Lord, who had brought them through
such deep waters, and restored them to the mis-
sion-house once more. For a while they were
undetermined what to do. When, however, Kan-
goon was again given up to the Burmese, their
experience of the insecurity of a Christian mission,
under a despotic government, induced them to re-
solve to settle in one or more of the places re-
tained by the British ; and it was finally agreed to
make Amherst the head-quarters of the Burman
Anew 32. Amherst was a new town, formed by the

formed at British, near the mouth of the river Martaban. It
Anaherst. was named after the Governor- General, Lord Am-
herst, and made the seat of the British Govern-
ment in Burmah. In June 1826, Dr^ and Mrs
Judson arrived here from Rangoon, accompanied
by several converts, and especially by Moung-Ing,
their faithful companion in all their recent troubles.

^ I'liis is addressed to Mr Biitterwortb, of London.
^ Mr Judson had recently received an honorary diploma from


God had^ indeed, raised up this Burman Christian
to be a special comfort and assistant to them in
their great need. For some time he was the only
person who would venture to carry food to Mr
Judson ; he stood by them faithfully through their
long confinement ; and was still spared to rejoice
with them in their deliverance, and to assist in
their labours.

They found the site selected for the town of
Amherst little better than a wilderness, being a
dense jungle, inhabited by deer and wild fowl,
which had hitherto been the undisturbed occupants
of the peninsula. The only habitations to be seen
were a few bamboo huts, some erected by the na-
tive converts who had preceded them, and others
by the sepoys quartered there, and the natives
with them. A few days after their arrival, on the
5th of July, Mr Judson left again, being under an
engagement to accompany the embassy to Ava as

33. During his absence, his indefatigable wife Mrs
exerted herself for the improvement of those around
her. As soon as the numbers of the new settlers
would admit, she opened a school, which in a short
time contained ten children. But this was her last
work. Attacked with intermittent fever, she lin-
gered about a month, and expired on the 24th of
October 1826, before her husband returned. The
shocks which her constitution had received from
previous attacks of disease, and during the severity
of her trials at Ava, rendered her incapable of re-
sisting the malady by which she was at last as-
sailed. She died in a strange land, in the midst of
stranf^ers. Thousrh we have no account of her last
thoughts and feelings, yet the testimony of her
life, and the known sentiments of her mind, leave
not a doubt that her last end was peace. For her
to live was Christ, and to die was gain, (Phil. i.



CHAP. 21). No marble shines upon her lowly bed, but
^' her record is on high. And ^^ her name will be re-
membered in the churches of Burmah, in future
times, when the pagodas of Gaudama shall have
fallen ; when the spires of Christian temples shall
gleam along the waters of the Irrawaddy and the
Salwen ; and when the golden city shall have lifted
up her gates, to admit the King of Glory. Mean-
while, may her bright example inspire many with
the generous resolution to toil and die, like her, for
the salvation of the heathen."

About a month after Mrs Judson's death, Mr and
Mrs Boardman arrived at Amherst, and carried on
the work she had begun ; but Mr Judson did not
return till the 24th of January 1827. The other
missionaries from Rangoon were dispersed in the
country, and usefully employed in the following
years : but it were premature here to enter upon
the history of their operations.
Admira- 34. We return to Dr Price. At the close of the

En"iilVa^t ^^^ ^^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^^ Calcutta, by the King of Bur-
the^court mah, to complctc some negotiations then pending
of Ava. between him and the British ; and he returned to
Burmah in May 1826. He found that a complete
revolution had taken place in the feelings of the
king, royal family, and the principal men of the
country, towards the British. They were so asto-
nished at the forbearance, good faith, and noble ex-
ploits of the conquerors, that they attributed all to
the religion which they professed, and the God
Vy^hom they worshipped. They desired Dr Price,
w^ho was called the ^^ Peacemaker," from the pro-
minent part he had acted in the negotiations, to
explain to them the cause of all this ; and they
could not conceal from him their astonishment and
Dr Price's admiration at the good behaviour of the ^^ White
proceed- Foreigners."
Ava.*' 35. In consequence of this favourable impression,


the prospects of usefulness at Ava were now brighter
than at any former period. Dr Price was no longer
restricted in his access to the natives or the instruc-
tions to be imparted to them ; but was permitted to
read and enforce the sentiments of the Scriptures
every Lord's day. The king and his court even in-
vited conversation with him on rehgion. He opened
a school, which Burman youth of the first families
attended. He soon had nine scholars, five of whom
were sent by the king, and two of them daily read
the Bible in English. He purposed also, in connec-
tion with the dispensation of the Gospel, to give in-
structions in astronomy and natural philosophy ; for
the religious superstitions of the Burmans, like those
of the Hindoos, being interwoven with false notions
of the sciences, he hoped that, when convinced of
their errors on these subjects, they would be prepared
the more easily to relinquish those of their religion.
Not long after this, the king granted him permis-
sion to establish a press at Ava, being overjoyed at
the proposal, and repeatedly urging the completion
of the project.

36. On the whole, therefore, the American Board Conciu-
of Missions,^ are completely borne out in the follow-
ing general view of the hopes and prospects of this
eventful mission at the present period : —

'' In view of all the circumstances connected with
the late war in Burmah and the consequences re-
sulting from it, the Board feel justified in expressing
their belief, that it has widened the sphere of their
labours incalculably ; and rendered the prospect of
success on the part of their missionaries far greater
than before, particularly within the conquered pro-
vinces. They may now have free access to the
people without fear, and employ all the means of


?t(/e Keport for 182'


CHAP, instruction within their reach : they may preach
^' and estabhsh schools in which the principles of
Christianity shall be taught : the natives may also
inquire, read the Scriptures, hear the Gospel, and
embrace it, without being subject to penalty or
oppression. Heretofore it has been otherwise.
When the missionaries preached it was with cau-
tion ; and when the people wished to hear and con-
verse on religion, they were often deterred by the
certain displeasure of their rulers. If, then, some-
thing was accomplished for the cause of Christ under
former disadvantages, how much more may be anti-
cipated, now these hindrances are removed ! Divine
Providence has committed this field of labour to
the American Baptists ; and it now calls on them,
in a most impressive manner, for increased and
vigorous exertions, as several new stations ought
soon to be commenced and supported."

This anticipation, if it does not reconcile us, as
nothing can, to the horrors of war, tends at least
to mitigate the pain with which we look back upon
its disasters. And truly we have here an encourag-
ing prospect ! The wall of China, hitherto deemed
impregnable, is breached ; and the prowess of Bri-
tons has made an opening into that vast empire for
the heralds of the gospel from their daughter land.
May England and America henceforth go on, hand
in hand, in this blessed work, and know no other
rivalry but in the race of Christian zeal, provoking
one another to love and good works, and striving
who shall most faithfully spread far and wide the
knowledge of the only true God, and of Jesus Christ
whom He hath sent !






1. The arrival of two missionaries in Calcutta in ^H'^P,'^
1816^ Messrs Greenwood and Schroeter, was men- return.
tioned in the chapter detailing the commencement
of this mission.^ In 1817^ Rev. Daniel Corrie re-
turned to India, accompanied by two more mis-
sionaries, Rev. Deocar Schmid and Rev. Bernard
Schmid, with Mr John Adlington, a young man
whom Mr Corrie had brought up, and taken to
England to complete his education. Being too
young for holy orders, it was thought advisable
that he should return to India, to assist as a teacher
till old enough to be admitted to ordination. The
two missionaries were designed for Bengal, but, on
arriving at Fort St George, it was found that the
mission in that quarter stood in such need of im-
mediate help, that, with the concurrence of all
parties, their destination was changed, and they
were left at Madras.

^ This chapter is drawn up principally from the Society's Re-
ports from nth to the 28th.

^ B. xi. c. iv. See Appendix E. of tliis Vol.


CHAP. On Mr Corrie's arrivcal at Calcutta, August 30th
L 1817, he communicated to the Corresponding Com-
mittee the Society's wish, that its premises at Gar-
den Reach should be occupied by the various
departments of a Christian Institution/ the supply
of Christian teachers, the maintenance and exten-
sion of EDUCATION, and the employment of the
PRESS. The Committee cordially entered into these
views, and immediately took measures to accom-
plish the object. Previous to entering upon the
extended operations now projected, they com-
menced a missionary prayer meeting at the old
church rooms, for the Spirit of God to be poured
out on the Church in India, and awaken a mission-
ary zeal in Bengal.
Baptizes 2. On Sunday, October 12th, Mr Corrie preached
converT ^^^om Isaiali Ixi. 1 1, the first professedly missionary
SERMON that was delivered from a pulpit of the
Established Church in India. After the discourse
he had the satisfaction of baptizing a native con-
vert, by the name of Fuez Messeeh, from Bareilly,
who had been a year under instruction, and had
given satisfactory evidence of his sincerity. He
was a native of Mooradabad, where his father and
other members of his family were still living in
idolatry. At eighteen years of age, disgusted with
the idolatry of the Hindoos, he became a behever
in Mahomet, and, from that time, lived after the
strictest manner of the Mahomedans, becoming a
Fakeer, and gaining many disciples, by his reputed
sanctity. He described himself as all the while
without comfort, and in a state of uncertainty as
to what would be the end of all his austerities. Of
late years he heard much said about the Gospel ;
and conceived a strong desire to know on what ac-

^ The nature and objects of such Jiistitutious are fully ex-
plained ill the Society's 18th Keport.


count Mahomet had prohibited the reading of it.
Obtaining a copy of Martyn's Hindoostanee New
Testament, he read it with attention, until con-
vinced that Jesus Christ w^as the long-expected
Messiah, through whom alone was to be procured
the forgiveness of sin and reconciliation to God. He
w\as now forty years of age ; and after his baptism
he returned to Bareilly, where he was usefully em-
ployed by the Society as a reader and catechist.

3. Mr Corrie having been appointed to the chap ^pp^°]"^!^
laincy at Benares, left Calcutta in November, ac- con of
companied by Mr Adhngton, Fuez Messeeh, and Calcutta.
the native youths left by him at Calcutta in 1816,
who had been under the care of Mr Robertson and
Mr Greenwood. Here Mr Corrie saw a wide field
of useful labour opening before him, and he soon sat
down to missionary work in his own unostentatious
and effectual way.^ In the autumn of next year,
1818, however, he was appointed to Cawnpore ; but
before his removal thither, he w^as called back to
Calcutta, on the expected departure of the senior
chaplain for England, and he succeeded to that im-
portant station in 1819. Greatly as the Committee
regretted the loss of his superintendence and aid at

Online LibraryJames HoughThe history of Christianity in India : from the commencement of the Christian era : second portion: comprising the history of protestant missions, 1706-1816 / by James Hough (Volume 5) → online text (page 24 of 54)